Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Science of Scheduling....

I feel like this is a recurring theme (or, you know, "broken record", but I was trying to put a positive spin on it...ooh, get it? Record...spin? Sorry, let me get back on track...) but it's time once again to discuss the hot topic we like to call the WestEnders Weekly Agenda.

The ship sets sail on fairly calm waters on Monday, with the only event being my dance class, which due to certain factors--such as the venue having changed to a less convenient spot, and the cost having risen into, shall we say, "cha-ching" territory--I'll only be attending a few times a month.

Things get considerably choppier on Tuesday, with 2 soccer practices. Riley needs to be at a (luckily) nearby field at 5:30, a feat which I can easily accomplish, as Husband is typically unavailable to chauffeur at that time, as a result of trying to finish up the last of his work-related calls. Then Derek requires shuttling to a faraway stadium, meaning that he and I leave the house at 6 to arrive by the start of his workout at 6:40. And incidentally, I do have to say that I'm enjoying our bouts of car-bonding. We have some amusing chats--sometimes he'll tell a funny story about school, or something goofy one of his friends recently did. (Actually, there are a LOT of these, not surprisingly, as Derek predictably likes to hang out with guys who share his sense of humor...) 

And then occasionally, if I, oh, pose a question such as this: “Give me best-case and worst-case scenario for UNC and Maryland in terms of seeding for the NCAA Tournament.” I'll be the recipient of a lengthy, well-thought-out, in-depth analysis of each team, related to strengths and weaknesses, likely opponents, probable outcomes, and resulting placement in the bracket. I tell ya, it's like my own, personal ESPN show!

Then later, while he's running around with his teammates, I pop around the corner to Costco for our regularly-scheduled "buy enough food for my own adolescent boys as well as anyone they choose to invite over" stock-up trip. At 8-ish, I retrieve a sweaty Derek and shuttle him back to home base. On the drive, the poor child eats an improvised "dinner" consisting of the bag o'snacks he's brought, including pretty much one of each item from the pantry's inventory. (Now you see why Costco is a weekly occurrence, yeah?) When Husband wraps up his daily business...stuff...he picks Riley up and returns him to the fold...and presumably feeds him something. (File this under If It's Tuesday, This Is Not My Problem, and leave it at that...)

Wednesday is a bit smoother sailing, as Derek is the only one who needs to be delivered to his training. Husband takes this commuting shift, while I remain en casa for our special mother/son shindig known as Dining with Riley. Typically it goes something like this: I knock on his door at about 6:45 and ask, "Whattya want for dinner, dude?" He looks up from whatever he's doing on his phone and invariably replies, "I dunno. Whatta we have?" I present several options--none of which necessitate much actual prep or, heaven forbid, "cooking"--and he chooses an acceptable one. Then the two of us sit at the table and talk...kind of like what his brother and I do in the vehicle, as a matter of fact...but not necessarily with the evening edition of SportsCenter. Hey, at least one child gets fed a more or less proper meal...we do what we can, folks.

Thursday it's back to Double Bonus Soccer again, this time with me handling the Riley duties, and Husband getting extra Derek time. Riley's session is at a local facility, situated in a nice residential area, so while he's kickin' it with his squad, I tend to take a walk or run through the nearby streets to pass the time and accomplish my own physical activity for the day. And although Husband's journey takes him to what we've come to refer to as...ahem..."the 'hood", he recently discovered that he can catch the American Tobacco Trail a few blocks away, run 2 miles to the Durham Bulls' stadium, and return before Derek's drills are done. Somewhere in all this...nonsense...I guess people forage for some food...or whatever. Fortunately, they're old enough to figure it out, because I'm kinda losing my focus by this point in the week, quite frankly...

Friday (oh, blessed day) no one has anywhere they have to be, at any specified hour, It's a beautiful reprieve, with much relaxing...and recharging...and whatnot. And believe me, this brief hiatus is absolutely essential, because on the weekend horizon...there are games. Riley, for some inexplicable reason, has most of his matches at a gigantic sportsplex in Raleigh....a tidy 45 minutes away. But as it turns out, that's the EASY trek--some of Derek's upcoming contests take place in Greensboro, Morganton, and Asheboro, all of which lie an hour to 90 minutes west of here. Yikes! Between the two players, we often have one game each weekend day. So, Husband and I arrange Strategy Meetings to determine the Divide and Conquer an attempt to ensure that--regardless of how much we really do love it--no one has to concede their entire weekend to the Beautiful Game. (Yeah, and theoretically there's time for homework, and hanging out, and family togetherness...and, who knows, maybe even bona fide meals...)

Then...yeeeaaaah...we start over again. But don't worry--everything returns to normal by Memorial Day, when our athletes...and their biggest fans...wrap up their seasons and take a break. Right...I think I'm the one taking Derek to his match I'd better go look up directions...check the weather so I know how to dress...and of course set aside a cooler full of provisions for the hungry footballer! (Costco, here I come...again...)

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